Back in 2004, the heat was on for me and my little marketing and design studio.
In those days, I was a single mom with a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old, and I desperately needed my business to produce.
And by that, I mean produce profit. I needed money, honey — to support my family, run my household, and build my business.
I knew it was time to ramp up my efforts. My business was successful, but it was time to take it to another level.
Around that time, I started hearing about mastermind groups.
And now, when I look back, I recognize that joining a mastermind group profoundly changed my business for the better, especially because of one specific exercise these groups do.
That’s what I’m going to share today. Because earlier this month, we began doing something similar inside one of our communities at Rainmaker Digital.
Mastermind groups around every corner
You know that thing that happens when you’re interested in something and all of the sudden you start seeing mentions of it everywhere?
It’s called frequency illusion, and that’s what happened to me with mastermind groups. Everywhere I looked, I saw mentions of them.
But every mastermind group I found met in person, either early in the morning or later in the evening. And those were both times of the day when I had to be on Mom Duty. Attending a meeting outside the home wasn’t an option.
And yet, I was convinced that a mastermind group was what I needed. I knew I would benefit from the experience and viewpoints of other business owners, and it would help me position my business where it needed to be.
So, I continued to search and finally found a “virtual” mastermind group that met by phone. I applied, was accepted, and prepared myself for our first meeting.
Group therapy for my business?
I was a little nervous going into the first meeting. Was it going to be like a confessional? More like group therapy? Would I feel comfortable talking to these strangers about my business?
Every scenario I imagined had some level of discomfort baked in.
At the start of the meeting, the group leader explained that we would take turns sitting in the “hot seat” talking about our businesses.
We’d start by reporting successes — what had gone well in the past month. Then we’d move to sharing our biggest challenges — what we needed help with. The group would listen and contribute ideas to help the person in the hot seat.
Here’s where I was wrong
This is embarrassing to admit, but here’s what I thought:
“When it’s someone else’s turn, I’ll listen politely, provide the best feedback I can, and count the minutes until it’s my turn. And when it’s my turn, I’ll get a lot out of sharing my successes and challenges, and hearing the feedback from the group. The real value will come from taking my turn in the hot seat.”
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I learned a lesson that day and relearned it every single time we met as a group.
All the different businesses that exist in the world share many common problems.
When I look back on my mastermind meetings, I got as much or more from listening to other business owners talk about their triumphs and tragedies as I did when I shared my own.
Here’s what happened:
- The mindset tips shared with the chiropractor? I was able to use them to improve my own mindset.
- The negotiation techniques offered to the professional organizer? I used those the next time I needed to negotiate something.
- The website advice that went out to the voice coach? It made me look at my own site in a new light.
The funny thing about calling your time in the spotlight a “hot seat” is that the name is only partly accurate.
Instead of feeling like you’re under interrogation, you feel like you’re being warmly embraced by a community of professionals who support and encourage your efforts.
Maybe they should be called “warm seats.” 🙂
New: Authority Business Coaching calls
Last month, we began offering Authority Business Coaching calls inside our private site for advanced content marketing training.
We’ve brought a taste of this “warm seat” style of education to Authority, and the results so far have been pretty amazing.
The main challenge our first guest brought to the session was a need to improve cash flow in his business.
Here’s what we heard from our webinar attendees:
Money is so hard! And talking about it is even harder. This conversation is great.
I absolutely relate to this conversation. This is a great session.
And from the person sitting in the hot seat? Here’s what he said after it was over:
The session reinforced my ideas about what needs to happen, but it also gave me a sense of direction and more clarity. I feel a bit overwhelmed at times, and the coaching call left me with a sense of ‘I can do this.’
As a member, I think it is a highly appealing format for a show. It helps build a sense of community, while at the same time having a chance to be informative and valuable. All of us are in different stages of growth and success, but the problems we face are very similar.
Exactly. The problems we face are very similar.
And you’ll find that you can learn a tremendous amount by listening and sharing with people who own businesses that are quite different from yours.